The largest mining company in the world will have new branding. BHP Billiton announced that it will roll out a $10 million advertising campaign to change its brand to BHP with a new slogan, “Think Big” to facilitate the change.
The Guardian reported that the move is coming in the wake of activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors calling for a significant restructure of BHP Billiton’s operations, by merging the UK and Australian entities into a single London-listed company and spinning off its US petroleum business for a New York listing. The company is also dealing with the fallout from the 2015 dam failure at the Samarco Mine in Brazil. The mine was a joint venture operation between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and the dam failure led to the death of 19 people and was the largest environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.
BHP chief external affairs officer, Geoff Healy, denied any link between the rebranding and those developments. “The timing now is good but we don’t look at it as an event. This has been in the works for many months,” he said. “This is a clean brand change for the company.”
He said the company had conducted surveys to gauge the response among investors in London and South Africa, and the research supported the final decision.
The company is changing all its significant branding from Monday, including its well-known four-blob logo, but has no immediate plans to formally change its listed name.
“All that will happen gradually, in due course, when it makes sense to do it,” Healy told reporters.
The miner started out life in 1885 as the Broken Hill Proprietary Company, or BHP, and retained that name until its 2001 merger with Anglo-Dutch mining company Billiton Plc.
The merged business continues to be listed in both London and Australia, while its shares are also traded on stock exchanges in the US and South Africa.